MILWAUKEE -- Fire investigators are sifting through debris after a vacant house went up in flames early Tuesday morning, August 16th. The two-alarm fire started in a home near 50th and Clarke.
Orange flames filled the sky as firefighters and police blocked off the area near 50th and Clarke around 4:30 a.m.
"I just smelled smoke," said Tennille Moore.
Tennille Moore's daughter captured cell phone video while firefighters battled the flames.
"The embers were coming down," said Moore.
As the sun came up -- the damage done was evident.
"We have an entire collapse at the rear of the main fire building," said Milwaukee Fire Department Battalion Chief Dan Lipski.
Investigators say the vacant home is destroyed -- and the fire caused damage to nearby homes.
"Innocent people are being affected by this," said McNeil
Sherri McNeil's home suffered some damage, but she's grateful just to have made it out.
"Thank God [for] that man who was walking down the street on his way to work, because he was beating on my door letting me know the house was on fire. Me and my family was in there asleep," said McNeil.
Now she wants to know why and how this devastation happened. Fire officials are just as inquisitive.
"There was no electricity or gas service to this building. We are pursuing, at this point in time, as curiosity of how a fire could have started without one of those two things," said Lipski.
Residents gathered nearby are concerned for many reasons. They're already on edge for the fires, shootings and violence that happened just blocks away.
The American Red Cross is assisting five adults and one child from a nearby duplex that was damaged as a result of the fire.